VITAS Healthcare Promotes Three Executive Roles: Husted, Nygaard, Hayes

Nov. 6, 2023

MIAMI, FL—The nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care proudly announces the promotion of three of its executive leaders to advanced roles within the organization. Patty Husted, Jennifer Nygaard and Mark Hayes are tenured VITAS Healthcare employees who have demonstrated excellence in their leadership roles and will continue to strengthen the company through further development.

Patty Husted
Patty Husted is executive vice president of patient and family supportive services.


A 34-year VITAS veteran, Husted is taking on a new role within the organization to advance the companywide goal of providing world-class care and support to every patient, family and community that VITAS serves. As executive vice president of patient and family supportive services, Husted is responsible for identifying areas of opportunity for improvement in volunteer and bereavement services to elevate the overall experience of VITAS patient care. She will play a critical role in enhancing practices and processes to ensure a clear focus on the delivery of patient- and family-centered care, evolving and maturing the volunteer and bereavement programs that have helped establish VITAS as the nation’s leader in end-of-life care for more than four decades.

Throughout her career, Husted has been a leader in identifying opportunities to expand VITAS’ reach in serving patients and families and elevating the company’s approach to hospice care. Starting as an inpatient hospice nurse in 1989, she has served in more than a dozen leadership roles across Florida.

“Since joining the organization, Patty has made significant contributions to VITAS and has had a tremendously positive impact on how we deliver patient and family care with excellence,” said Nick Westfall, President and CEO. “She is a role model of our VITAS Values, with ‘patients and families come first’ at the forefront of everything she does. Patty’s passion and commitment to our patients, their families, our employees, hospice care and VITAS are exceptional.”

Jennifer Nygaard
Jennifer Nygaard is senior vice president of operations for VITAS Healthcare’s northern and central Florida region.


A 26-year VITAS veteran, Nygaard has been promoted to senior vice president of operations for the Northern and Central regions of Florida. In this role, Nygaard oversees hospice teams throughout Pensacola, Panama City, Citrus County and the Nature Coast, Greater Orlando, Jacksonville, and Lake-Sumter, Brevard, Volusia and Flagler counties.

Nygaard has had an impressive career at VITAS over the past two-plus decades. Most recently serving as the vice president of operations and special projects, her contributions have been vital to growth in Central Florida and beyond. Joining VITAS in 1997 as an admissions coordinator, Nygaard held several positions in the company’s call centers in her first decade before transitioning to program management in 2007. She has since served as general manager, senior general manager and vice president of operations across northern and central Florida service areas.

Her educational background includes attending Florida State University and earning a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University.

Mark Hayes
Mark Hayes is senior vice president of operations for VITAS Healthcare’s southern Florida region and Georgia.


A 10-year VITAS veteran, Hayes has been promoted to senior vice president of operations for the Southern region of Florida. In his role, Hayes is responsible for hospice teams throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, Collier, Palm Beach, Lee, Hendry and Glades counties and the Treasure Coast in Florida, as well as Atlanta, Georgia.

Over the past decade, Hayes has led his teams to deliver patient and family care with excellence while expanding their reach to serve even more patients in those communities. His focus on improvements through efficient and effective management practices earned him the VITAS Region of the Year award in 2021 and other VITAS leadership awards for multiple years. Joining the company in 2013, Hayes served as general manager in Jacksonville and Atlanta before his promotion to vice president of operations in 2017.

He is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and holds a bachelor’s in business management and a Master of Business Administration in healthcare.

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